Huddersfield's Coronation Street star Ryan Russell was 'apprehensive' about Yorkshire accent
Ryan Russell, from Huddersfield, was cast to join the ITV show’s first Black family last year, playing Michael Bailey.
As his character was the subject of a major plot twist in last night’s episode, Mr Russell spoke about his career.
Originally from Sheepridge and later Holmfirth, where his mother Jacqui still lives, the 29-year-old went to Longroyde Primary School and Rastrick High School.
He acted in stage roles and adverts but before starting on Coronation Street, he was best known for presenting on children’s television network CBeebies.
“You don’t really see Black males with Yorkshire accents on television.”
He said that shows such as Game of Thrones, which featured actors with or using regional English accents, was a reminder that “you can have a northern accent and you are just as good as anyone down south”.
The Baileys - which includes Edison (Trevor Michael Georges) and Aggie (Lorna Laidlaw), alongside their sons Michael and James (Nathan Graham) - were the first Black family to all join the show together in the show's 60-year history.
In last night’s episode of Coronation Street, Mr Russell’s latest storyline had what ITV called a “massive twist” after his character Michael resorted to desperate measures to stop his partner taking his daughter to Spain.
Mr Russell said: "It was daunting at first, for myself, to play that character with such emotional depth, for my first TV (role), and with it being Corrie I thought, I hope I can do it justice.
"Everyone was so accommodating."
Although Mr Russell went over the Pennines to study media and performance at the University of Salford, he said that he still loves “calm” Yorkshire.